Investors are keeping a keen eye on China this week as the world's second-biggest economy gears up for its Third Plenum of the Communist Party. The summit of China's leaders is expected to deliver some of the biggest reforms for the country in 35 years.
China is the one of the world's biggest producers and consumers for a range of commodities. In ranks number one in the steel and coal industry, according to the World Coal Association, as well as in iron ore, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The Copper Development Association state it's the world's second biggest producer of copper, behind Chile. Commodities are a big deal for the biggest population on the planet, and prices have risen in the last 10 years with China the underlying driver of this "super-cycle".
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The Communist Party get-together could radically alter this picture, however. Beijing is trying to shift the economy towards consumption to put growth on a more stable long-term footing.
China's president, Xi Jinping, has promised comprehensive reforms. Urbanization and financial liberalization will likely be key focuses. A national social security system has been touted as well as more free-trade zones, land ownership reforms, changes to state-owned enterprises and property tax legislation. There is also speculation there will be discussions on tackling overcapacity and environmental pollution.
"If China does embrace meaningful reform, it will mean a real economic adjustment," Patrick Chovanec, the managing director and chief strategist at Silvercrest Asset Management told CNBC.
"The commodity boom we've seen in recent years was due partly to real growth, but in large part to grossly inflated demand from runaway credit creation in China. Whether China has a hard landing or a soft landing, the current investment boom will slow significantly."
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Over the medium term, increased demand for urban properties and social housing should unleash fresh demand for construction materials, predict strategists Grant Sporre and Xiao Fu from Deutsche Bank. But pollution-cutting measures, limits on overcapacity, use of steel scrap and a property tax could result in a peak in steel consumption intensity and lower demand growth for iron ore over the coming decade, they said.